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  • The World Of Make Believe is Kinda F*cked Up!

    As adults, I think we all envy the imagination of children. Their ability to lose themselves in a play pretend planet, and envision a reality I can only achieve after taking acid. Yet sometimes when I enter into these alternate dimensions with my child, I sometimes take pause, and think to myself, “Damn kid, your make believe worlds are kinda fucked up!”

    Here are some of the most recent games I have played with The Munch:

    1) Dead Mermaid Examiners:

    Munch: Let’s pretend we are these explores that find dead mermaids. We travel the seas, and every time we find a dead mermaid, we bring her on our ship and examine it. And then, we look inside her body, and see all her broken bones, and how her heart isn’t beating.

    Toni: Ummm okay. Do we have magic powers to save the mermaid or anything? So we can bring her back to life?

    Munch: Yeah, but first we have to use this tool to peel off her fin to make sure all her bones are broken – and then we can use the magic to make her heart beat again. But after we make her alive, she goes back into the water, and the bad guys just kill her again.

    2) Evil Jailer:

    Munch: Pretend that you are sleeping in my bed, and then I come in the middle of the night and capture you. But I tell you I am brining you to my house to watch my animals, but really, I just put you in jail. And because you believed me, and you love animals, you didn’t know I was going to do that. And when you are in jail there are bars everywhere, surrounding you, and you can’t get out.

    Toni: What happens to me when I am in jail?

    Munch: You cry because you want to get out.

    Toni: Wah!!!

    Munch: Pretend that I am evil, but you have this magic treasure that turns me nice. So here, you can use it now.

    Toni: Okay. I am using this magic treasure and I am making you nice! Shazam!

    Munch: Your magic didn’t work. I am still evil.

    make-believe-blog

  • Hating Your Parents

    You know how you once thought you would never turn into your parents, and then you realize, “oh fuck, I am totally just like my parents?” Yeah… so do I.

    There are many things my mom did to me when I was a kid that I SWORE I would never do. She ate my Halloween candy when I was at school, she also ate my valentine chocolates when I was at school, and then she once bit the head off my Easter bunny when I was at school. OBVIOUSLY I SHOULD HAVE NEVER GONE TO SCHOOL!!!

    Along with her penchant for sweets, my mom’s also a compulsive cleaner. If you are eating in her kitchen, she will tidy around you as you try and finish your meal. She will even go as far as to pick up your plate and wipe the table clean mid bite. She is obsessed with order and everything being in the right place – kind of like Martha Stewart on meth.

    Because my mom likes things to be neat, she was also always moving our stuff and throwing things out. In her mind it was clutter, but to my brother and me, those He-Man toys were important!!

    The way I learned to deal with my mom’s ways was deciding personal possessions are meaningless. One day you could come home, your things would be missing, and you just moved on. Maybe that Godzilla doll did have go, even though now I would never know where its vagina was. These are the questions of my childhood that will remain unanswered.

    But it turns out that I am now also a compulsive cleaner. I’m constantly moving Munch’s stuff around and giving away old shitty toys I can’t look at any more. I try to be discerning, and only abandon the objects she discarded, but sometimes my instincts are wrong. There have been moments where she looks at me with rage in her eyes and asks, “Where is that one Barbie shoe that was in that box?! I NEED IT!”

    Kids have a lot of fucking shit, and their shit takes over your house like an infestation. In every room there are remnants of plastic toys to step on in the middle of the night. It’s hard to escape, and sometimes you just want to purge and say, “fuck all your stuff.”

    In order to deal with the vomit of neon littering the house, I ordered some furniture for Munch’s room so she could better organize her toys. She spent all night putting everything away in just the right place, and we were both happy with the result. But then I went downstairs, looked at the living room, and felt like there was still too much crap. There was a table that was covered with her paraphernalia, and I really wanted it put away.

    Okay so here is the thing about Munch. She’s an installation artist. She creates these set ups, and then refuses to play or touch them because she put so much effort into their arrangement. I’m not trying to stifle her vision, but it’s also super annoying because then there are these shrines of her “work” I’m not supposed to touch.

    So what did I do?

    I cleaned up the fucking table.

    What happened when she saw it the next day?

    She was fucking pissed!

    Munch: AHHHHHHHHH WHAT DID YOU DO???
    Toni: I cleaned up in here.
    Munch: MY TABLE!!!? WHEN DID YOU DO THIS?
    Toni: Last night when you were sleeping.
    Munch: WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED ME FIRST!!!?
    Toni: I’m sorry. But you wouldn’t let me clean it, and it was driving me nuts.
    Munch: I WORKED SO HARD ON THAT!!!
    Toni: Yeah, but then you never played with any of those toys again.
    Munch: THAT’S BECAUSE I WORKED SO HARD! THAT WAS MY COLLECTION!
    Toni: I’m sorry, but it looked really messy.
    Munch: I AM SO CROSS WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Toni: Look, you can’t just put your toys everywhere. That’s not fair.
    Munch: WHERE IS ALL MY STUFF?
    Toni: It’s right here in these bins.

    I showed Munch the bins, and to be honest, I did get rid of some of the things that were on the table. Like I don’t know… a pile of rocks she brought in from the driveway. But I also kept a lot more than I wanted to. Munch then started tearing through the bins and throwing things across the room looking for all her nick nacks.

    Munch: IT’S NOT ALL HERE! WHERE IS THE LITTLE BUNNY WITH THE MISSING HEAD??!!! I AM SO CROSS WITH YOU RIGHT NOW!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Toni: Dude, that isn’t fair come with me. Lets go on a tour of this house.

    I then proceeded to drag her into every room in the house.

    Toni: Whose stuff is this here?
    Munch: Mine.
    Toni: What about here in this room. Whose stuff is this?
    Munch: Mine.
    Toni: Come upstairs. What about here in the hallway – whose stuff is this?
    Munch: Mine.
    Toni: Do you see how your stuff is all over? You can’t monopolize every room in the house! You’re not the only one who lives here. We have to compromise okay?
    Munch: Fine. I will make my collection again, and if you touch it, I will throw your computer out the window.

    Pretty sure I won’t be touching this table for a while…

    art-table-blog

  • Pretending to Pretend

    If you came to my house and saw me dressed up like a princess while talking to my stuffed animals, would you think that was sweet – or that I had totally lost my fucking mind? Chances are you would smile, back out slowly, and then call my mom to tell her that the moment had finally come – it was time to have me committed. Even though kids are expected to play pretend, when adults do, we consider it a mental disease.

    When I watch The Munch play pretend it is of course cute to watch her imagination wander, but she also gets into some really weird shit. Sometimes her baby dolls have to go to jail because they weren’t listening, her stuffed panda has been known to eat Mr. Bunny, and every so often her Carebear has to be put outside in the rain for punishment.

    That is just the information I am privy to as she talks to herself. There are a lot of times where The Munch is playing and she is quite. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a full narrative happening inside her head, I just don’t know what it is. And to be honest, I don’t know if I want to.

    A lot of times she asks me to participate in these games, which to be honest is hard for me to get into. I am too aware that this isn’t reality, and I can’t get lost in it like a child would. Of course I go along and pretend to pretend, but in reality my brain is spending its time stressing out about my life rather than truly being invested in My Little Pony’s adventure into the land of Dark Trees.

    Do you remember the feeling of being lost in your imagination? I have a vague recollection of what that was like, but I can’t connect to that headspace. I think my window was too short. I know some kids can stay in that mental state for a long time, but I think when I was like 6 or 7 I was like, “this is just silly.” I was too self aware, and that ability to forget myself melted away.

    Even though the social acceptability of pretending morphs as you age, plenty of grown ups still do it, just in a more adult way. They role play sexually, play fantasy sports games, have online Avatars, hold Dungeons and Dragon’s gatherings, go to adult summer camps… All this proves we will have a need for play even though it is manifested differently.

    Yet I can’t get into any of that shit, because again, my consciousness is too conscious of its consciousness. Maybe for those of us who still yearn for play, but are too uptight to figure out how to maintain the capacity, we turn to drugs. Not that I am a druggie now, but I was definitely committed for a good portion of my teen and adult years. Drugs helped me forget my mind and exist in a make-believe world.

    Perhaps if there were more opportunities for people to play as they grow up, less people would turn to drugs for that mental escape? I don’t know, but it seems like a fun little game of “You’re the Teacher and I’m the Bad Student,” is infinitely safer than heroine.

    pretending-blog-2

    May 18, 2015 • 4 years old, Behavior, Mommyhood, Parenting, Playing, Toddler Thoughts • Views: 1306

  • It Turns Out Many People Don’t Like Me

    I’m a pathologically optimistic person. I like to assume the best of the world because I am into asses, and u and me. Yet sometimes I have to acknowledge the brutal reality that not everybody wants to be my friend, nor do they even like me at all.

    I brought The Munch to the playground on Sunday because it was the first spring-like day of the season. You see, up here in the Northern Tundra, we have been dealing with the harsh atmosphere of what I like to call “eternal winter.” It was only 3 weeks ago when I decided it was time to wear 1 pair of pants instead of 3. So considering it was the kind of sunny day where you didn’t have to wear a wool body suit, I was in a pretty cheery mood.

    I initially anticipated that the other parents would be equally jovial. You would think that on a beautiful day at the playground people would want to do the monkey bars, play chase, and push me on the swing. But guess what – they don’t at all. No one was even interested in my cool tricks, like when I hang upside down by my knees. They just kept looking away.

    When I tried to talk to some of the other parents, I felt like I had SARS. None of them wanted anything to do with me, and they kept looking at my mask with suspicion. It’s a fashion statement okay!? At one point a kid near me went down the slide on his stomach, flew off the end, and landed on the ground. When his dad came over, I tried to explain what happened so he would know why his kid was crying.

    Toni: He went down the slide head first on his tummy, and just ricocheted off. I’m pretty sure he got the wind knocked out of him, but don’t worry, he didn’t fart or anything.
    Dad: Uhhh yeah… thanks…

    Ummm what’s the problem Dad?

    Then there was a mom with her son who was playing near us in the sandbox, and the son wanted to know why dry sand didn’t make good castles. The mom was on the phone, so I decided to help out and give the kid an answer so he would stop interrupting her call.

    Toni: Probably because 98% of the universe is dark matter, which is a substance so complex, the human mind can’t comprehend what it is. This is just one of many questions you will never know the answer to, so you should probably settle into the deep crisis of unknowing because it will help you better deal with the mystery of death.

    At this point, the mom collected her stuff, but not quickly enough to avoid hearing Munch’s follow up statement.

    Munch: When our dog and cat die – can we please get a bunny!?

     

    park-blog-(i)

    April 13, 2015 • Adventures, Mommyhood, Parenting, Playing, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 1630

  • Splash Me and I’ll Splash you Back

    After squatting out my child 4 ½ years ago, every single day of my life since, I’ve been a mom. The problem is that I don’t always feel like being a mom. Or maybe more accurately, some days I am better at being a parent than others.

    This is a story about one of those days where I just wasn’t at my best. The night before I had a party, I was tired, and also my lady parts were leaking blood. It was not a good scene – like seriously, it was a murder scene in my pants. My preferred day would have involved a room full of pillows, an opium pipe, and someone reading to me the philosophy off a cereal box while tickling my back.

    Yet as the universe would have it, The Munch wanted to go swimming. Now she has recently learned to swim without “swimmies,” and I wanted to honor her interest in cultivating this new skill. So I agreed to take her, even though I would have rather, I don’t know, covered by body in leaches.

    At first everything was going fine. The Munch was doing a great job, and I was encouraging her efforts. But then, I got kind of bored, so started swimming around myself and going under water. I was still right next to her, but while I was underwater, Munch was momentarily stuck and couldn’t get to the side. She didn’t’ sink or anything, but she needed my help. When I came up to get to get a breath, I grabbed her and all was fine.

    Munch: Mom!!! YOU CAN’T GO UNDER WATER!!!!!!!
    Toni: Munch, if I’m underwater, wait for me to come up and then practice your swimming.
    Munch: NO!! YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WATCH ME SO YOU CAN’T GO UNDERWATER EVER!!
    Toni: Dude, we have been in here for an hour, and I’ve been doing nothing but watch you. Sometimes I want to go under water and have fun swimming too. You have to give me a turn to do that.
    Munch: NO!! YOU ARE NEVER GOING UNDERWATER EVER AGAIN.

    Okay, so I can understand she wanted me to be there for her in case she needed me. Which I WAS!! But I also felt like I needed to have turns practicing I was a mermaid.

    Toni: Listen, we have to communicate better and take turns. I will tell you when I go underwater, and then you wait for me to come back up.

    It felt like a good solution. But then Munch didn’t hear me say I was going underwater, and got SUPER mad when I did it again.

    Munch: I TOLD YOU NEVER TO GO UNDERWATER!!
    Toni: MUNCH! I told you I was going to. You have to pay attention, and let me have turns to swim too.
    Munch: Well I DIDN’T HEAR YOU!

    At this point we were both livid. Munch was mad because she wanted me to pay attention to her, and I was mad because I thought she was being a tyrant.

    Toni: You know what? I can’t just spend my life doing only things for you. Sometimes I want go underwater, and you have to respect that.
    Munch: Fine! If you go underwater, then I’m going to take Molly (the stuffed animal I sleep with), and you will never get her back. I will put Molly where you will NEVER FIND HER!! Then I’m never going to talk to you again.
    Toni: Okay. That’s enough. We’re going to get out of the pool now, and go home.

    This was the point where Munch splashed me. Now we were both already wet, but their was an intention behind the splash. She looked me in the eye, and splashed water in my face. It was a splash that said, “Hey Mom, fuck you!”

    What I did next I am not proud of. But it’s what happened. I splashed her back.

    Munch stomped away, and so did I. We were both seething. She then came over to me and splashed me 10 times while I tried to ignore her.

    Toni: If you splash me one more time, we are going home, and you are going right to bed even though the sun is still out.
    Munch: But I don’t want to go home and go to bed!
    Toni: Well, do you think you have been acting kind?
    Munch: No!
    Toni: Do you think you should apologize for splashing?
    Munch: I think you should apologize for splashing too!!
    Toni: I only splashed you because you splashed me first!
    Munch. MOM! You’re acting like a child.

    Point Munch.

    So then we had to BOTH apologize for splashing. My pride is officially not only swallowed, but also fully digested and has transmuted into shit that will now have to be evacuated.

    splash-blog-(i)

  • Is Life Really That Different?

    Vacations used to be comprised primarily of ecstasy, alcohol, flirtation, and hazy memories. I danced in a foam pit non-ironically, got lost in the Red Light district of Amsterdam for six hours while high and gazing at prostitutes in the windows wondering if I had seen the one with the sad eyes wearing crotchless panties before. Once I even pitched a tent on a German highway because my boyfriend and I had no idea where we were. Okay, it was after a huge festival but it was super dark out!

    The complexity of my life now is that it is really hard to abandon my responsibilities and give myself a true break. There are endless obligations lurking in the background of my brain, relentlessly reminding me of all the shit I need to get done. Then of course there is my inbox – bottlenecking with messages from people wanting, needing, and bossing me around. When I finally checked Gmail this morning there my computer was pleading, “I am so constipated!!! Free me from the burden of holding all these in!” Whatever escapism I was experienced when I was young and dumb, has been marred by the presence of technology.

    Vacations are no longer a break from life, where I get to push the limits of my consciousness and abuse my liver to the point of near failure. They have a very different texture these days. For one, my kid is on vacation from school so that means I have to be with her all day. Sorry –I mean I “got” to spend time with my darling angel during these fleeting precious years of her childhood. Although theoretically The Munch would totally rock out while dancing on a bar until four am, taking a four-year old to da’club is pretty much frowned upon. Instead, I have to do “kid appropriate” activities that don’t include experimenting with hallucinogens and Ambien.

    Most of my time spent with her is between “the schedule” of what is planned. We go from this place to that, I make her food, and we go to bed. There is less down time where I actually have to figure out what to do with her. Of course I love my kid, but it’s not like I have that much in common with her. I guess we both like eating cookies and laughing at farts but The Munch never wants to talk about the police state, she doesn’t care about Monsanto, and she doesn’t think she needs feminism.

    I think a key element to having a healthy relationship with your child is developing common interests. If there are things you enjoy doing together, then you have outlets which you both enjoy. Of course there are times when I can get down with playing “princess-queens who are sisters with magical powers that conquer the mountain and hide in a special cave of diamonds while turning all the babies into ladybugs,” but unless I am going to become a pothead again, my imagination is only so fertile.

    The one thing Munch and I can do for hours and hours while both being happy is listening to pop music while practicing handstands. We do have a couple debates going however. For one – auto tune. We discussed for over an hour about how all her favorite singers use auto tune and what that is doing to the music industry. The Munch thinks auto tune is “cheating,” but still likes those songs better than the Indigo Girls, whereas I believe our ears are being trained towards falsity which could have lasting impact on our neurology.

    We are sorting out her feelings on hip-hop music. Munch isn’t into men rapping because she doesn’t like boys, but she will listen to Biggie Smalls and Eminem when there are girls singing on the tracks. This feels like a decent compromise, because I figure there is still time to get her into Mob Deep and The Pharcyde. We do both agree that music should be listened to so loudly that you can both feel the vibration in your bones but not hear your own voice while singing along.

    So come to think of it… maybe life isn’t so different after all? Chicks hanging from ceilings and shit…

    vacation-blog

    January 5, 2015 • 4 years old, Adventures, Family Drama, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting, Playing • Views: 1306

  • Just Another One of My Total Failures – No Big Deal

    Do you ever have those moments where you are like, “Wow… I am really embarrassed that just happened. Thank the universe no one was here to witness this totally humiliating experience. I pray this information never gets out because I don’t think I need to be judged on this complete failure.” Yeah… well I had one of those over the weekend and I am going to share it with you because I don’t know why…

    I feel like some context is in order. So I have been a “sober” person now for almost 6 years – which is a really really long time for a person like me who loves not being sober. Then last summer I dabbled in drinking coffee – which soon became the best time of my life because it got me high as fuck. My system was so pure from the absence of outside influences that caffeine was like meth. FUCKIGN AWESOME. But after about 2 months I had to quit. It got too intense, and my afternoon crashes were ugly – like its 5 am and your coke dealer won’t call you back so you tape over all your windows so to never face the sun again kind of ugly.

    A year went by, I was coffee-free, and all was good. Then a few weeks ago, I said to myself “Don’t be such an extremist Toni. You can do this. 95% of the adult population does this. You can drink coffee if you want. Just have it 4 days a week… Monday – Thursday, when you have the most work. Then don’t drink any for the next 3 days so you don’t become an addict… or so you don’t dull the high of Monday by getting too used to it…” Good thinking right!!?? Don’t create a dependency in order to still feel the potency of the effects! I should totally be a drug counselor right? “Listen, if you do heroine every day, it will lose its effectiveness – so instead doing it casually every few days for maximum impact.”

    What I didn’t anticipate was how hard the days would be without the coffee. Friday through Sunday I would be pushing through in this total state of “blahness” – unable to find my mojo. There was no meaning, no joy, nothing to kick start my morning into a frenzied state of productivity. I was existing, not living. Am I being a dramatic you say? NO I AM FUCKING NOT!!

    Now here is the thing about spending the day with a kid… or at least my kid. If I am in a good mental place, I can handle pretty much anything she throws at me. The more self- possessed I am, the better I can manage the complexity of my child’s moods. Although it might sound cliché or corny, taking caring of myself is the number one effort of social activism I can partake in. When I am truly centered and in control of my emotional being, I can handle the chaos of existence with grace. Yet when I am experiencing my own inner turmoil, it is easier for me to do things I later regret.

    The times that I handle The Munch with maturity and embody the model of behavior I want her to live up to, then I can feel like I am doing a decent job as a parent. Yet when I am fragile and too easily influenced by The Munch’s emotive state, those are the instances I am not exactly a “good example.”

    So this is what happened… We were at her swing set, and Munch wanted me to make her baby doll act frustrated. Part of me was like “yeah I guess I could do that…” but this other part of me was like “entertain yourself by swinging on your swing kid.” Like I said before, I wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind from the coffee detox, and sometimes you just want your child to deal with their own life and not have to be their damn clown.

    Toni: Munch, why don’t you just swing for a bit and let Mamma stare off into the nothingness contemplating the futility of existence for a bit.
    Munch: No Mamma, don’t do that! Make the baby act frustrated!
    Toni: Fine…. What should she be frustrated about?
    Munch: Just make her act frustrated!!
    Toni: Dude, this isn’t “Improv 101!” I need some direction or something to go on. What do you want the baby to be frustrated about???
    Munch: MOM JUST MAKE THE BABY ACT FRUSTRATED!!!

    Ummm so that is where I got frustrated myself… and threw the baby. NOT AT MUNCH MIND YOU… I just threw the doll high up in the air, and she landed with a thud by Munch’s feet. Now this was a confusing moment for us both. I didn’t hit Munch with the baby because I am a coordinated person who knows how to land a shot if I wanted, but I did fling the baby in Munch’s overall direction. Albeit it was a lob, to throw a baby is a little… ummmm… juvenile.

    Munch looked at the baby, then at me, down at the baby again, and once more at me. I was pretty ashamed by my actions, but tried to blow it off to save face.

    Toni: Mamma, just threw the baby huh?
    Munch: Yeah… good thing it didn’t hit me…
    Toni: Yeah… Mamma is pretty silly right??

    Munch wasn’t buying it. She then also remembered that I never made the baby frustrated. The culmination caused Munch to be quite angry with me, so she took off her Minnie Mouse shoe, and threw it at my head.

    Doink!

    It was a perfect shot. We were both equally surprised because Munch normally doesn’t have the best aim… but this throw would have gotten her into the major leagues.

    A number of things were going threw my mind at this point. Number one was, “Holy fuck my kid just threw a Minnie Mouse shoe at my head!!!” Then of course, “well I did just throw a baby… BUT I DIDN’T hit her!!”

    I really didn’t know how to react or what to say. I needed a minute to sort all this out, so I kept quiet, got up calmly, and left to go inside. I stood in my kitchen and did what any normal person would do when faced with a dramatic conflict – I started doing the dishes and talking to myself. “Listen Toni, you have to redeem myself as an adult who acts with rationality and not emotional impulse. You are the grown up. You can do this!” After about five minutes The Munch came in looking for me.

    Toni: Munch, I am really angry with you for throwing a shoe at my head.
    Munch: Well… you should have ducked.

    (Although not the apology I was looking for, that is some pretty flawless logic)

    shoe-throwing-blog-(i)

  • Don’t even think of leaving your kid alone… EVER

    I don’t know about you guys, but I had a lot of independence as a kid. Maybe my parents were quasi neglectful, or maybe I was just exceptionally mature. After all, I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and believed marshmallow “Fluff” was a legitimate food source. So there you go.

    I started walking to school on my own in the first grade. The journey was about a mile and I embarked on this solitary excursion with my pride packed in my little backpack (which I ONLY ever wore on my right shoulder because I was NOT a NERD who wore their bag on BOTH shoulders….that would be CRAZY!!!!!) After school let out, I walked back to our empty house, put on my roller-skates, and glided around aimlessly until it got dark.

    When I was eight years old, I began babysitting for our neighbor’s twins. They were six months old and I got paid $5 an hour. I guess I was an innocent victim of a child labor ring – obviously I should have gotten $10 for two kids! I would play with these baby girls, change their diapers, sometimes remember to feed them, and play some more. I may not have been the most diligent baby sitter of all time, but I kept them alive and we had fun.

    In the summertime, I easily biked 15 miles a day because my mom thought driving her kid around was a “republican thing to do.” The majority of my childhood I was either alone or frolicking with friends making wise decisions like eating half a pound of cookie dough for dinner. Maybe this lead to a bout of serious diarrhea, but I also gained a sense of responsibility over my own person. I learned to rely on my instincts of self-preservation and subsequently understood how to take care of both myself and other people. The more my parents trusted me the more I trusted myself.

    It turns out that my mother, my neighbors, and half the parents I knew as a child, would have been arrested if they were parents today. According to a recent pole, 68% of Americans think there should be a law that prohibits kids age nine and younger from playing in parks unsupervised and 43% feel the same way about 12-year-olds. Despite the fact that people in this country are enjoying the lowest crime rates in decades. When asked: “Do kids today face more threats to their physical safety?” 62% answered “yes.”

    Americans are living with unprecedented fear. Enter the presence of modern day news. The pressure that 24-hour “news” channels have to fill each hour with content, every story is magnified to epic proportions. Media relies on people tuning in, so the more intense the tragedies, the higher the viewership. We have a morbid fascination with catastrophe, so media companies have a vested interest in amplifying every horrific detail to make more money, unconcerned that this ultimately exacerbates our culture of fear and paranoia.

    Call me crazy but parents today are in deep denial thinking the dangers facing their children are lurking in the park rather than I don’t know…THE FACT THAT CORPORATIONS AND THE BANKING INDUSTRY ARE RAPING THE PLANET OF ALL ITS RESOURCES SO THERE WILL BE NOTHING LEFT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS? Or how about our foreign policy: the U.S. is currently fighting SEVENTY-FOUR different wars right now? It is comparable to someone refusing to swim in the ocean for fear of sharks but then driving down the street because they don’t feel like walking—turning a blind eye to the reality that the likelihood of getting eaten by a sharped tooth bony fish is INFINITELY smaller than dying in a car crash.

    The benefits of allowing children to be accountable for themselves by playing with other kids without constant supervision and micromanaging of adults seems much more meaningful than our culture’s current obsessive panic over safety. Imagine if the movie “Stand by Me” took place today? The boys would be like “wanna see a dead body” and then some medley mom in the background would be like “no, you boys do not – now get back inside.” Roll credits.

    Of course we need to protect our children, but that also means helping them learn how to protect themselves. A generation of kids who has never once felt the autonomy of making their own decisions will potentially grow up to be a generation of very insecure adults. Although a 12 year old is still young, it is also kind of old. I mean… Mary was 12 when she had Jesus. If she can raise the Son of God, then I am pretty sure our kids can swing on a damn swing without their mommy having to observe their pumping skills.

    Maybe I am wrong. Maybe these kids will be happy and well adjusted. Maybe part of the problem is that too many of us were raised by inattentive parents. Who knows. I do know that the fun of playing outside until dusk with no one telling what to do so maybe you try a cigarette that makes you puke seconds after the rush of your life–those memories will last a lifetime.

    (I would be scared of Munch if I came across her alone at the park)

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    August 26, 2014 • Behavior, Current Events, Disciplining, Mommyhood, Parenting, Playing • Views: 1330

  • Why You Shouldn’t Eavesdrop

    When The Munch plays pretend, she often talk to herself. She comes up with characters to act out scenarios. The murmurs of her banter is endearing. I love when she happily plays by herself, content in her own imagination while creating a world through the dialogue of her dolls. It is one of the most peaceful moments of motherhood that soothes my soul.
    Ummm… yeah.The truth is, I haven’t been listening that carefully to what Munch’s characters are actually saying.
    The other day I brought The Munch with me to my dance studio while I took a ballet class. She had her back to us and was completely lost in her own universe. Our presence was totally inconsequential — The Munch was committed to her own reality.
    Here’s the thing about sound.When you have loud music on, it drowns out all other noise. Yet when said loud music is turned off, all other noise is amplified in the silence. In this case, when the song ended and the teacher was momentarily thinking about the next exercise, the sound of Munch’s voice echoed throughout the room.
    At first we all looked at each other and said with our eyes “awwww how sweet… the little girl is playing pretend.”  Then the actual words coming out of her mouth became clear.
    Munch: You go over here Mamma because I am going to put you in jail. Then I am going to stomp on your face if you don’t give me all the jellybeans I want. Go in jail right now and stay there forever and ever for 100 years and I am never going to let you out!! And then I might KILL YOU!

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